MOCS is a social-justice-focused community development organisation that works with families, children and individuals across the Blue Mountains. We focus our attention on supporting those facing hardships and those who experience intersections of oppression. We aim to enable stronger families, inclusive communities and improved social cohesion.
Social justice is at the core of the work we do. We strive to develop programs, practice and policies that improve social participation, increased inclusion and connection within the community, as well as championing human rights for all. Our approach is backed by research, experience and community voice.
We work with various communities in the Blue Mountains to co-design community development projects. We are currently working in First Nations people, the LGBTQI+ community, multicultural families, young people, and people who raise and care for children. We are always expanding the scope of our work to grow and reflect the changing social landscape of the Blue Mountains.
We work with families and kin to build resilient healthy relationships, feel more confidence and feel a stronger sense of belonging. We are committed to providing safe services in a way that meets children's rights and includes children having a voice and being partners in the development, implementation and evaluation of MOCS children's programs.
What guides us?
- We respect the knowledge, culture and custodianship of First Nation communities of the Blue Mountains
- We value diversity, and advocate for social justice, equity and social inclusion
- We value strengths-based community development practice, personal and community empowerment and justice
- To build a healthy diverse community where vulnerable and disadvantaged community members are well supported and their resilience and quality of life is improved
- To build a healthy diverse community where individuals, families and communities participate in opportunities to build a sense of place, community connection and trust through shared experience, knowledge and strong respectful relationships
1. Reduce the impact of social and economic disadvantage and reduce social isolation by building social inclusion
2. Enhance the resilience and connectedness of BM communities, families and their children
3. Be an agile and robust community organisation
Mountains Outreach Community Service (MOCS) began in August 1980 when Springwood Neighbourhood Centre received a Western Sydney Area Assistance Scheme (WSAAS) Grant to set-up the Treehouse Mobile Resource and Information Unit operating from a bus. Treehouse became autonomous in July 1981 and changed its name to Mountains Outreach Community Services in 1992. The service has always had a mountains-wide focus on support and provision of services to the local community, initially focusing on the gaps for families with children and on bringing people together to strengthen community connections and resilience. MOCS is now a diverse and thriving non-profit organisation that is closely connected to the community around it and works from a social justice perspective to support its growth and inclusion, whilst working collaboratively to support those who are systemically and personally disadvantaged. MOCS is community managed and received funding from the NSW Department of Communities and Justice, NSW Department of Education, and Blue Mountains City Council.
Tatiana joined the MOCS team at the start of 2019 and comes to the sector having worked in social justice and human rights for over 15 years. Tatiana is deeply committed to addressing systemic and personal marginalisation and has worked in the areas of sexual violence prevention, anti-prejudice education and using the arts to enhance community development. Having worked in the community legal sector for many years and gained experience in community leadership, Tatiana moved to academia and taught at Macquarie University Law School in the areas of anti-discrimination law, dispute resolution, family law and Indigenous people and the law. Tatiana has worked closely with a diverse range of communities across the Top End of Australia and rural NSW, establishing long lasting relationships with community members and leaders. Tatiana has lived in the mountains for over 15 years and is an active member of her local community. Tatiana uses the pronouns she/her.
Elaine joined MOCS in 2007. She completed a Cert 4 in business management and frontline management in 2010 and has acted in the MOCS manager role at various times since then. Elaine has taken on various temporary roles within MOCS to cover other staff members, including childcare and community development. Elaine holds diploma qualifications in various massage therapies and has worked for MOCS and other community services, to deliver services to parents at pampering events, such as running baby massage courses for parents to learn safe massage for their babies and children.
Liz joined MOCS in 2005 as the Children’s Community Development Worker and is still in that role. A major part of Liz’s role, originally, was to coordinate the MOCS playgroups and work intensively with the Parenting Young Project. Liz’s current work includes supporting First Time Parents, facilitating Parenting Courses and running the Family Fun Days. She still regularly supports Parenting Young.
Liz worked as an Early Childhood Educator and has a TAFE qualification in Child Care. She later received a BA in Communications from Macquarie University.
Before joining MOCS, Liz worked as a community environmental educator and also as a campaigner for Greenpeace Australia. Liz has a strong interest in the arts and has recently completed her Advanced Diploma in Visual Arts at Nepean Design and Art Centre.
Tanya has worked with the local community both through her work in the Arts and Community Sector for the past 25 years. Having worked for MOCS since 2010 has equipped Tanya with a unique understanding of the needs of Blue Mountains children and families, as well as the local community sector. She is the facilitator of the Parenting Young program, bringing a network of Blue Mountains community services together in a working party to support young parents realise their potential and connect with each other. She also facilitates a new group called, Young Parents Circle, in Lithgow which sets out to achieve the same outcomes as Parenting Young but in a location with a growing number of young parents. Tanya is full of creative ideas and works to meet the following community outcomes for children and carers: increased self-determination, children reaching developmental milestones and increased sense of community belonging.
Claudia joined MOCS in 2021 to work on MOCS' online presence and in community development. Claudia holds a Bachelor of Art Theory and has experience working in communications roles in the contemporary art sector and the community arts and cultural development sector. They have also been building skills in community engagement, event coordination and campaigning. Their role at MOCS is Community Development Project Officer, which supports them to work on a range of community development pojects that meet the needs and goals of their local community.
Outside of MOCS, Claudia spends time working as a freelance arts worker. They are a board member for Pari in Parramatta, and are developing an independent curatorial practice.
Claudia uses the pronouns they/them.
Lesley joined MOCS in 2018. She has a cert III in Early Childhood Education and a cert IV in Leisure and Health. Lesley works with ACRC’s Koori Playgroup, Parenting Young, and MOCS supported playgroups. She enjoys exploring and working with the strengths and goals of children and families, so they can achieve a positive sense of wellbeing, belonging and children can reach their developmental milestones and are confident learners.